Denver Broncos vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Final Injury Report
After Friday’s practice, the Denver Broncos released their final injury report in anticipation for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.
The Denver Broncos (3-0) are now two days away from their showdown at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) in what should be a very humid affair. Friday, the Broncos held their final practice and also released their final injury report. Who will the Broncos have at their disposal on Sunday and who will be watching from the sidelines?
Aside from Demarcus Ware—who was ruled out for 4-5 weeks after fracturing a bone in his forearm— Virgil Green and Donald Stephenson both missed their third straight practice Friday. Both Green and Stephenson were formally ruled out Sunday by Coach Kubiak.
With Green out, this is another week for John Phillips and Jeff Heuerman to takes the reigns at the tight end position. In week three against the Bengals, Phillips caught his first touchdown pass of the season on a short fourth quarter strike from Trevor Siemian. Heuerman played his first ever
NFL game; while he only had one catch, it was a very big catch in the fourth quarter that went for 29 yards. The Broncos have said repeatedly that they have high hopes for Heuerman and a strong performance Sunday could lead to lots more playing time, even when Green returns to the lineup.
The absence of Donald Stephenson means the Broncos will start Ty Sambrailo for the second consecutive game at right tackle. Despite saying that they were going to use a rotation on the OL a week ago, Sambrailo ended up playing the entire game there.
“We didn’t really rotate. [OL] Ty [Sambrailo] played the whole game.” Kubiak said after Thursday’s practice. “We had some issues when [T] Russell [Okung] went out, where our rotations took place, so will still will hopefully be able to suit seven. The fact that [OL] Darrion [Weems] can go out there and [OL] Michael [Schofield] can go out there does give us some flexibility.”
This week would seem to be much of the same. Sambrailo’s performance a week ago was a bit uneven, but considering it was his first game in a year he put in a serviceable performance. With a week to kick off the rust, a better performance would be expected this week.
Denver got great news today as T.J. Ward, who was limited in practice both Wednesday and Thursday, was a full participant during Friday’s session. Given the fact that he returned to the game after missing some action against the Bengals, his status wasn’t overly concerning. Nevertheless, being a full participant in practice means he is going to be on the field Sunday.
Russell Okung gave the Broncos a bit of a scare when he had to come out of
the game last Sunday with a lower back injury. However, he has been a full participant in practice all week and his status for the game has never been in question. Okung has been unbelievable for the Broncos this season, providing a true anchor on the left side of the line—something the Broncos have not had since 2012—Ryan Clady’s last year at full health. Michael Schofield played fine at left tackle in the limited snaps he took while Okung was stretching his back out, but any extended time missed from Okung would lead to a sure drop off. Schofield has played very well at right guard, and the Broncos would certainly prefer to keep him there.
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Both Shiloh Keo, and rookie Justin Simmons are listed as questionable for Sunday’s contest against the Bucs. Simmons—who missed the game a week ago— practiced in a limited fashion all three days this week as he is still dealing with his hand injury. If he is active this week it would be with a club on his injured hand.
Shiloh Keo has been dealing with some swelling in his knee causing him to miss the practice Wednesday. “His knee swelled up on him yesterday.” Coach Kubiak said after Wednsday’s practice. Keo did return to practice Thursday as Kubiak had said would be the plan. He practiced in a limited fashion the past two days.
Will Parks will see more action at the safety position, as he recorded his first career interception a week ago. One of either Keo or Simmons will be active as the Broncos won’t go into the game with only three healthy safeties. It will likely come down to Keo’s knee to determine which of the two that is.
A Couple Other Injuries to Watch
- Bennie Fowler got his first game action of the year last week after fracturing his elbow in the first preseason game of the year. He is still listed on the injury report, however he was a full participant all week. He recorded one catch a week ago, and could see more targets this week as he seems to be having no recurring issues from the elbow injury.
- Corey Nelson was held out of a day of practice in preparation for the Bengals game with an ankle injury. However did play in last Sunday’s contest. Like Fowler, he was a full participant all week and would seem to likely to come off the injury report completely if he can make it through the whole game with no issues.
- Demarcus Ware remains out, but is doing what he can from the sidelines. “He’s DeMarcus Ware. It’s not the same.” Von Miller said after Thursday’s practice. “We all look up to him. Even [Outsuide Linebackers] Coach ‘Pug,’ (Fred Pagac) it’s just the vibe that he has in the locker room, his vision for plays, his vision for tendencies and stuff, it helps us out. We need him in the locker room. That’s why he has to come to the locker room. He can go to rehab, but come to meetings. Nothing changes. We need you. DeMarcus is great though.” There is no doubt that Ware would prefer to be on the field, for now he is being patient and doing what he can to help his team.
Full Injury Report for Both Teams
Here is a look at the final injury report before the Broncos travel to Florida to take on the Buccaneers: